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Over the last few weeks I've been intermittently struggling to install a MapTuns strut bar from Velocity Tuning on my 96 9000 CSE. I know that this is really supposed to be a 15 minute job - unfortunately, at least in my case, the stock strut tower bolts were too short to securely bolt because of the additional thickness of the strut bar bracket.

I finally got around to going to the home depot to find some longer bolts. In the end I used M10-1.50 x 25mm bolts. These are actually the same length as the stock bolts, however don't have a taper at the tip, giving them just enough extra reach to grab the threads and pull the bracket firmly into place.

I may end up switching to the 30mm bolts, and you could probably use those instead. I don't think the extra length would be a problem given the thickness of the bracket. Or you could add a couple of washers to compensate if the length became an issue.

One other issue I'd like to point out with strut bars, is that the brackets are cut from a flat piece of steel or aluminum that does not conform to the curves of the strut tower. This means that you either need to tighten the bracket until it conforms (bends) to the shape of the strut tower, or use extra washers as spacers so that the bracket can stay unbent.

I assume that for ordinary street use in a car that is already 15 years old it doesn't matter a ton whether the bracket gets a little bent, or is kept perfectly straight.

Anyway, hopefully posting this will help somebody else to successfully install their strut bar in one 15 minute session, instead of struggling to fit brackets using bolts that are a little too short.
 
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